After Primary Defeat, Cantor To Step Down As Majority Leader

Originally published on June 12, 2014 7:41 am


DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Renee Montagne. After one of the bigger upsets in memory, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor held a news conference yesterday.

GREENE: Cantor would not get into why he lost his primary battle to a little-known Tea Party challenger. Instead, he sent this message.


CONGRESSMAN ERIC CANTOR: I hope that all Republicans will put minor differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate so that we may all benefit from a proper check and balance that leaves our nation more secure, more prosperous and freer.

MONTAGNE: Eric Cantor said he will serve out his term in the House but will step down as majority leader at the end of next month. And he gave a nod to the person he thinks should replace him.


CANTOR: I can tell you that if my dear friend and colleague Kevin McCarthy does decide to run, I think he'd make an outstanding majority leader. And I will be backing him with my full support.

GREENE: Kevin McCarthy from California is currently the House whip. He'll have competition. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas says he also plans to run for majority leader. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.